South African Minister of Home Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was voted in late Sunday to lead the African Union Commission.
Dlamini-Zuma successfully challenged the incumbent, Jean Ping of Gabon, who held the post since 2008.
Ping had the backing of French-speaking African nations, while Dlamini-Zuma had the backing of English-speaking nations.
Dlamini-Zuma secured the votes of 37 of the 54 African Union nations to win.
Dlamini-Zuma is the former wife of South African President Jacob Zuma.
The African Union heads of state and government two-day assembly closes late Monday.